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Returning To Normal

I don’t know about you but, as to politics, I am glad the election is over and things are returning a bit to normal.

The Presidential election campaign was too long, too contentious and too all-consuming. I feel out of breath. At my age, enough is enough.

Okay, we might have disagreed on the final outcome. But maybe, for a while, we can all try and “pull together on the same oar” and address our common problems — most notably the coronavirus and the economy.

I read an article recently about how seriously the coronavirus has now invaded indigenous, native-American communities in Alaska. For a while, they seemed almost immune to the virus because of their remoteness. Many of these communities are accessible only by plane or boat. They were able to keep the virus out. Now, however, some have become a hot-spot, almost like we have seen in some nursing homes. Once “inside the gate” the virus can spread rampantly.

Similar stories are coming out of Europe and other parts of the world, and some countries are “locking down” again. If there was any doubt, we now know that every part of the world has been affected by this disease. Sometimes it takes a calamity like this for us to recognize our common humanity.

Here in Western New York, we have seen an uptick in COVID cases. Health authorities are now focusing efforts on smaller “micro-cluster” events. This past week, some new restrictions have been imposed including reducing the number of persons permitted to gather indoors. As we move indoors for the winter, there are more ways for the virus to spread.

As to the economy, I remain concerned. You cannot have the kind of sustained interruption of trade and travel we have experienced without having economic problems. Virtually, the whole airline industry has been shut down, at least by half. Many hospitality and restaurant businesses that are still operating, are not making much money doing so. All of this has economic repercussions.

The stock market has been hot recently but I have to believe it is over-priced. There has been too much speculation on who will survive the crisis, and not much attention given to the crushing down-turn for many in the real economy. On Wall Street, money has been chasing money rather than looking at what is happening on Main Street.

There has been good news from one drug company about a possible successful vaccine. Yet, even if approved, it will take several months before it is readily available. There has to be a vaccine solution before people and goods can start moving again in an economy as we had before this all began.

So, the election is over. We need to take a “gulp,” catch our breath, work together as we are known to do as Americans — and look forward to better days ahead. In the words of the song from Diamond Rio–“We’d gain a lot of ground, if we both give a little. There ain’t a road too long, when you meet in the middle!”

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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